The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will hold their first bilateral air combat exercise from 11 September to 8 October, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 6 September.
“This is the first exercise of this nature between our two countries which aims to increase our practical engagement with Japan: a key partner that shares Australia’s commitment to regional peace and security,” Australian Defence Minister Reynolds said in a statement, adding that Exercise ‘Bushido Guardian 2019’ will mark “a new precedent in Australia and Japan’s air-to-air, defence, and broader bilateral relationship”.
According to the DoD, up to 150 RAAF personnel will participate in the manoeuvres, with the service expected to deploy seven F/A-18A/B Hornet fighters and support platforms including the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft to provide personnel transport and an air-to-air refuelling capability; and a C-17A Globemaster and C-130J Hercules transport to provide heavy airlift capability.
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